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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A pity there has to be locked Churches

Locked churches (1) St Michael GELDESTON

It is such a great pity that some churches have to remain locked, I’ve found this in Norfolk more so than in Suffolk, where almost all are accessible.
            Not long ago I decided that I would spend the day mooching round the churchyards of three of these locked country churches…it’s surprising what little gems of information can be obtained from gravestones.

St Michael’s round towered church, Geldestone was first on my list…
            A charming medieval church, with a picturesque entrance approach.
It’s churchyard rises to the East behind the church and there’s a 1914-1918  war memorial at it’s centre…this memorial not only lists the men who perished but also their regimental crests, which I thought was a nice touch.

Reading the various headstones I was left wondering if a disease or epidemic of some kind was prevalent in this parish during the 1850's  as it seems too much of a coincidence to see so many deaths for so many families from this time…husbands, wives and children dying within days or weeks of each other.

Loved these two very old stones both dated 1683 for William and his wife Elizabeth, they lie close to the medieval porch, which has  just one well preserved head stop left (the one the other side of the porch has long disappeared.)




   





I managed to take a picture through a clear pane of window, it gave me a hint of the interior.






This gravestone was provided by the employers of the deceased in respect for his loyalty during the 23 years he worked for them.

Sadly the old graveyard is dreadfully overgrown and unkempt, but I noticed a few recent graves in an adjoining field, which are reached through a gate in the church wall, hopefully these will be attended to for many years.

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